STEM Institute


Welcome to 4-H


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Focus on Youth

News for OCES staff working with youth.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

April, 2012

Dear Educators and Volunteers,

Winter is not officially over at the time I am writing this, but spring seems to be here! I have mowed my weeds and sprayed them twice, the trees are in bloom, and OYE is all but over. I did hear an encouraging thing on TV today and it was that the last really mild winter was followed by the 6th wettest and coolest summer on record, so maybe we will not suffer with the heat of 2011 this year!

We are beginning to work on Roundup and plan for the summer, as we know you are too. One of the opportunities we will be introducing to you during the curriculum in-service is a mini-grant to help teach some health activities at camp. We hope you will consider it. If you are doing your camp planning before the April curriculum in-service you may want to call and visit with me or Cathy Allen about this opportunity.

In this newsletter we have provided some information about completing your 2011 4-H tax reports and an update on what is next. Next week I hope to send to each of you a spreadsheet for you to list how your clubs will handle funds in the future. I hope that at some point in the future there will again be a federal Group Exemption for 4-H. I personally believe this is a mess that the IRS doesn't enjoy any more than we do.

Thanks to all of you who helped out with the OYE last week, your service is very much appreciated.

Charles Cox
Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development
Oklahoma State University


IRS Update

Filing for this year: If you were required to do an e-post card report on-line last year you need to do so again this year. If you are not sure you can attempt to do so using your list of EINs to see if they are even recognized. Most are NOT.

For the Future

As you are aware, over the past several years we have been exploring various options for maintaining tax exemption status for 4-H clubs and affiliates. As was announced throughout this process, we have considered a variety of processes, including the possibility of securing a new GEN for local clubs. After a great deal of consideration and discussion, we have determined that this is not most viable option we have at this point in time. To obtain a GEN would require reorganizing most, if not all, of the clubs with new constitutions, by-laws, affiliation agreements, etc., and it would not eliminate the need for every club to still complete a 990 or e-post card. Failure of a few to do so would jeopardize the status of all and the umbrella organization. To that end we are offering clubs three options, and they are described below.

You will soon be receiving by e-mail your most current list of clubs. We must summarize this list and send it to 4-H Headquarter at NIFA within the next month. On the form you will need to list which of the options you are going to be using. Then you need to e-mail me back the list ASAP but by April 15.

4-H Tax Options

Option 1: School Activity Accounts

4-H clubs that meet in the school or are affiliated with a local school can place money in the school activity fund and receive tax exempt status from the school. The club would be responsible to follow the school's policies regarding check requests, reports, etc. In some cases this option might also allow the club to avoid paying taxes on purchases if they were made directly by the school.

Option 2: County Agency Fund (recommended by Internal Audits)

Local club accounts will be closed prior to July 1, 2012, and all funds moved into sub-accounts within the County Agency Fund. Based upon the amount of activity, the county administrative assistant might need to work with club treasurers to set up some operational procedure for handling and verifying deposits, distributions, etc.

With this system the county could also transfer funds to the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, where each county currently has an account. The Foundation would not set up sub-accounts for each local club but would provide regular account balances to the counties. Counties would need to keep track of the individual club funds. These would not be invested funds on behalf of the counties, and interest gained would be retained by the 4-H Foundation. However, if the county had accumulated a large amount of funds they could consider setting up endowments within the Foundation.

Option 3: Local 501(c)(3)

Local clubs or counties could apply for their own 501c3 status and set up an accounting system and report their own tax liabilities to the IRS. Current county 501c3 foundations in the few counties that have done this will need to apply for a Group Exemption Number if the local clubs wish to be subordinates of the Foundation or the clubs need to move their funds into the established local foundation. In other words if the county leader's council is a 501c3, it does not cover the other clubs in the county unless they are covered by a GEN or were originally set up as part of that county foundation.

For counties, boards, shows, etc., that may wish to become a 501c3, the following information will be helpful. Keep in mind that groups like livestock show committees that handle premium sale money might have a hard time passing the test unless most of the money they handles is not restricted. In other words, their primary purpose cannot be to receive money from a buyer and cut a check to an exhibitor. These transactions are not charitable because they are not gifts to 4-H. They are income to the exhibitor and are to be reported by the exhibitor in most cases.


Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3)

A section 501(c)(3) organization is an organization (i.e., a corporation, trust, or unincorporated association) that is exempt from federal income tax because it is organized and operated exclusively for certain tax-exempt purposes, such as charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes. These organizations take their name from the part of the Internal Revenue Code that describes them, section 501(c)(3). Charitable contributions made to these organizations by individuals and corporations generally are tax deductible.

Most section 501(c)(3) organizations must apply to the IRS for recognition of tax-exempt status. The IRS can recognize an organization as a 501(c)(3) organization only if the organization meets the organizational test and the operational test under section 501(c)(3).

This test relates to an organization's organizing documents, such as its articles of incorporation, charter, trust document, etc. To qualify for tax-exemption under section 501(c)(3), an organization must be organized as a corporation, trust or unincorporated association. The organizing documents must establish that the organization was created exclusively for one or more of the purposes described in section 501(c)(3), such as charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes. The documents must also require that assets will be used only for those purposes if the organization dissolves. The IRS provides sample organizing documents that contain the required provisions in Life Cycle of a Public Charity at,,id=122725,00.html

For more information, see Publication 4220, Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status.

How does an organization apply for recognition of its tax-exempt status?

Before an organization can apply, it must have an Employer Identification Number or EIN. Once it receives its EIN, the organization completes Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption, and sends the form to the IRS, along with a user fee and any schedules and attachments requested in the instructions.

For Frequently Asked Questions about Form 1023, go to,,id=130101,00.html and see Publication 4220, Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status.


Plant Science Academy

Are you curious about growing food for a growing population and conserving the health of the environment? If so, you should consider attending the Plant Science Academy at Oklahoma State University on June 6 through June 8, 2012.

By working with crop breeders, agronomists and soil scientists, high school students will learn what it will take to responsibly provide food, feed, and fiber for the 7 billion people on our planet. Participants will learn about the technologies being implemented by farmers and ranchers to maintain the health of the environment. Students will tour the wheat breeding facilities at the OSU agronomy farm as well as other agricultural businesses and laboratories.

During the three-day event, students will also experience life on the OSU campus and participate in leadership building activities, including a StengthsQuest workshop and an etiquette dinner.

At the conclusion of the Plant Science Academy, parents are invited to join the students, faculty and staff at a reception to highlight activities of participants.

The OSU Plant Science Academy is open to all high school students, but preference will be given to rising juniors and sophomores. To apply, students must fill out a short application to voice their interest and include a $45 program fee.

For the application or more information, please contact Sarah Lancaster at or 405-744-3525.

Sarah Lancaster

State 4-H and FFA Wheat Show

Scholarships totally $9,500 and over $2,100 dollars in premiums are up for grabs annually for 4-Members who have 5 acres or more of wheat as part of their 4-H project experience. 

Information, guidelines and forms are attached. Please share with eligible and interested members in your county.Equal awards are also made available to Oklahoma FFA members in a separated division. Retirees Kim Anderson and Kevin Hackett help provide support for this program.


Spring Paper Clover Campaign

The Spring 2012 Tractor Supply Co. and Del's Paper Clover promotion is right around the corner! Spring Paper Clover launches on Wednesday, May 2, and runs through Sunday, May 13. Did you know that Paper Clover fundraisers held during springtime yield most funds raised for some county in our state? We have 28 location in our state, and most are very welcoming of 4-H clubs to set up displays in their stores during the campaign.

If your county does not have a store but there is one in a town nearby, you can still encourage your clientele to participate, because by doing so you still benefit. A portion of the funds come back to the Foundation, and those funds are used to support enhancement grants. We will be promoting paper clover using various media outlets as the time comes closer.

Charles Cox

National Circuit Finals Rodeo

Attached is information about the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. The event provides discount tickets for groups and individuals who say they are part of 4-H. Your 4-H clubs, cattlemen's groups and others may wish to take advantage of this opportunity.

Charles Cox

2012 STEM Institute

The 4-H STEM Institute is about applying new information, technology, research-based applications to Service Learning and Community Service. The objectives are to form a Youth-Adult Team that will select a Community Need or Issue, attend the STEM Institute in one specific track and then return home to apply the new knowledge through setting up a demonstration, creating awareness through media, or teaching workshops.

In keeping with the Service Learning model each activity should be followed up by Showcasing the teams outcomes and Celebrating the final results.

Dates will be: June 13-14, 2012 and June 27-28, 2012

Registration Due: May 15, 2012

Project Tracks

  • Alternative Energy
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Entomology
  • Digital Media
  • Geospatial - GPS
  • iGreen - Environmental Conservation
  • Robotics

Complete Details can be found at:

Jeff Sallee


Internships Available in Child Development, School-Age and Youth Development Programs

The Military Extension Internship Program is an opportunity for college students to gain practical work experience in child development, school-age, and youth programs. Interns work on military installations around the world for 10 weeks to 6 months and receive a broad range of experiences, from working with children and youth and implementing programs, to learning about the management of child and youth centers.

A partnership between the Cooperative Extension System and the Department of Defense has provided the funding for this national, military childcare/youth development internship program. Through this initiative, students and recent graduates will have the opportunity to develop professional skills in childcare and youth development through practical work experience with military children, youth, and families. It is possible for current students to obtain academic credit for this experience.  Interns' compensation will include an hourly wage or stipend and assistance with travel expenses.

Interns will be placed on military installations across the United States with limited opportunities for international placement.

The Military Extension Internship Program is now accepting applications for Fall, 2012. Applications will be accepted through March 30, 2012. More information and application materials can be found at We are happy to answer any questions you may have.  

Specific questions regarding the internships may be referred to: Jessica Wandless, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service,


91st State 4-H Roundup, July 25-27

This year marks the 91st State 4-H Roundup. It will be held July 25-27, 2012, here on the OSU campus. The State 4-H Office and the Roundup committee are working to see that we offer the highest quality educational program possible. We are looking for persons to present educational workshops to youth, ages 13-19. The workshops need to be hands-on, motivational, upbeat and age-appropriate. The workshop application form can be found at

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tracy Beck at 405-744-8891.

Tracy Beck

Record Book Deadline is Approaching

Oklahoma 4-H record books and scholarship applications are due in the state 4-H office by noon on April 30. All forms and related resources can be found at Judging will take place on May 8, and interviews will be conducted on June 11. For more information, contact Suzanne Simpson in the state 4-H office at 405-744-7960.

Suzanne Simpson




All Due Dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.